Gubernatorial Hopeful Plans to Overturn Poker Ban

Washington Online Poker BanAn attorney in the state of Washington and Poker Players Alliance’s director for the state of Washington, Lee Rousso has decided to run against incumbent Governor Christine Gregoire on the August primary and seek the Democratic nomination.

It was in March of 2007 that Governor Gregoire signed into law a ban on online poker that made it a Class C felony to play. This meant playing online poker in Washington was in the same class as people who possess child pornography, threaten the governor, or tortures animals.

It wasn’t long after the law was signed that Rousso took the state head on by filing a law suit claiming that the ban on online gambling failed to comply with the Wire Act passed by the federal government which never has passed on the criminal liabilities to the players themselves. There is also the fact that almost every other possible form of gambling is allowed in the state.

According to Rousso, “I’m just upset beyond words that a law like that in a country like this could become a law. It’s just flat out wrong.”

“You just can’t even find people who think that this law is a good idea. Even people who are opposed to gambling in general recognize that this law goes way, way, way too far,” Rousso added.

The ultimate goal for Lee Rousso is to get the Washington law removed from the books and plans to do it through the courts or through the political arena by running for Governor. Last week in an update on the Poker Player Alliance website, Rousso reported that States strategy of asking for massive discovery on “information related to internet poker” has been successfully appealed by Rousso and the Court of Appeals returned the case back to lower court for more litigation on the recovery issues. In Rousso’s words,

“For the most part, the Court of Appeals seemed fairly sympathetic to my case, noting that is ‘raises interesting and potentially troubling questions’.”

As far as when a resolution could be decided in this case Rousso wrote,

“This has been, in essence, a four month detour. We have a new judge now and I have renewed optimism about getting my day in court, hopefully by around May.”

As far as his political ambitions, Lee said,

“The reason I announced [my campaign] in January when I did, the first day of the legislative session, is I’m hoping to shake up the legislature and get them to revisit the issue during this legislative session,” Rousso said. “If I could get the law changed, I would pack up my tent and go home, because I would consider mission accomplished.”

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